This weekend, I once again watched the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It has rendered me an emotional wreck and haunted me with memories. I first viewed Slumdog Millionaire two yeas ago during my airplane flight back from Cambodia. It was surreal to watch movie images of children rummaging through the trash at the dump, being forced to beg for money on the streets and being pimped out to men. All images I had just experienced before boarding my flight for home.
When Slumdog Millionaire first hit the big screen and began receiving all of its buzz, I heard someone on the radio complaining about how depressing the movie was, “What is the point of this movie? I don’t need to see this boy and his brother suffer over and over again. Is this reality? I already know there are underprivileged children in the world.” Yes, this is reality and for just one week, I experienced it for myself. And yes, there are real slumdog children whose reality we don’t want to believe.
That is the point. Knowing it and experiencing it are two very different things. For the rest of my life, I’ll be tortured by images of children living and digging through a stench you can’t imagine at the dump. For the rest of my life, my stomach will turn inside out and my eyes will flow with tears having seen young girls lined-up for the night in front of brothels. For the rest of my life, I will be thankful for knowing this emotional torture. And for the rest of my life, in my own small way, I will try to be an advocate for these children!
I love this face. This face brings me such joy!. This is the face of a slumdog that has been saved. Not by luck in a game show. But by people just like you and me. By people who care.
This smile . . . I love this smile! This smile makes my heart smile. A smile that has been saved from a life of pain.
Another smile saved. A smile that I dream of hugging again one day. A smile that will always know love.
You and me. We are it. We are the plan to change the world one smile at a time.
For more information on Asia’s Hope please visit Jen Morgan Online. Jen is my inspiration. Jen lives in Cambodia and is making this world a better place for children one smile at a time.
I’ve recently been challenged by Jen’s post Selfless Love, about a stranger literally giving the shoes off of her feet. That’s my new mission in life . . . when I see someone in need, to be willing to give the shoes right off of my own feet.
Life with Jeannine